Zeitgeist: Food for lots of thought

As part of the Facebook frenzy as of late, I was directly towards a group supporting a documentary called “Zeitgeist.” I must admit that I simultaneously approach conspiracy theories with considerable scorn, while becoming enraged when ANY counter-culture analysis or investigation is painted with the crazy brush. This one definitely deserves a watch.

It is presented in three parts. The first makes some fascinating religious claims about which I would love to hear some informed comments. The creators document how all elements of the myth of Jesus (born on December 25th of a virgin, found by three kings following a star in the east, prodigy teacher by the age of 12 and minister by the age of 30, betrayed by his friend, crucified, ‘dead’ for three days before being resurrected) are part of a much older story, shared by an impressive array of religious/mythical figures around the world for the 3000 years preceding the Jesus story. A very short list of these other characters include Krishna, Mithra, Dionysus, and of course Horus of Egypt (circa 3000 B.C). The film goes on to show how the story is rooted in the ancient worship of the sun, and composed of distinctly astrological elements – the star in the east is Sirius, the three kings are the three stars in the belt of Orion, which align to point to the Sun on December 25th. The section continues to draw linkages between ancient Egyptian religions and the Judeo-Christian tradition, many of which are rather though-provoking. It is wrapped up by the claim that “the religious myth is the most powerful device ever created, and serves as the psychological soil upon which other myths can flourish.”

The second section addresses the events of 9/11. As many of us may have heard before, some individuals believe very strongly that the events of 9/11 were, at best, permitted by the Bush administration in order to justify military action in the Middle East, and, at worst, a fear-inducing event that was entirely orchestrated and carried out with the direct support of those who would gain the most from a protracted and nebulous war. The evidence for this, in my opinion, is less convincing than that presented in the previous section, but not insignificant.

The film goes on to claim that similar events were orchestrated prior to World War 1 (the sinking of the Lucitania by German U-boats in 1915), World War 2 (the destruction of Pearl Harbour despite plenty of warning), and Vietnam (the ‘staged’ attack of US destroyers by Vietnamese PT boats).

Finally, the third section of the documentary probes the dominance of a few immensely powerful banking interests in the US and around the world (including the Rockefellers, the Morgans, and others). It describes the ways in which the Federal Reserve Bank in the US has gradually consolidated control over the currency supply since the 1920s, with the result that citizens are both subject to the whims of a handful of elites who desire only increased control, and mired in debt that is becomubg increasingly unserviceable.

The tail end of the film ties all the sections together by asking us why we spend such an incredible amount of time and money on entertainment (witness the rise of tabloid trash, the pro-sports colossus, and the dominance of television as a source of information) while our civil liberties are systematically stripped away under a rhetoric of fear and security.

All in all, an interesting (if necessarily slanted) take on the recent, and not-so-recent, events that have left many of us bewildered and somewhat afraid. Have a look, and let me know what you think.



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A wildly interdisciplinary path has led Sarah to pursue her PhD through UBC's Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. She gets riled about climate change, development, and equity issues, and any reference to P_ris Hi_ton. In her spare time, she cares for her rabbit (Stew) and composes self-congratulatory bios. (Sarah's intro post can be found here)